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After Showing Scorn for Visit, Congress Says Pranab Mukherjee Showed ‘Mirror of Truth’ to RSS

Over the last week, several Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi’s close aide Ahmed Patel and Mukherjee's daughter Sharmistha, had expressed their disdain at the former President for accepting the RSS invite.

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Updated:June 7, 2018, 11:23 PM IST
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After Showing Scorn for Visit, Congress Says Pranab Mukherjee Showed ‘Mirror of Truth’ to RSS
Former president Pranab Mukherjee speaks during an RSS event in Nagpur on Thursday. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is also seen. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: After days of several leaders expressing their disapproval about Pranab Mukherjee's decision to attend an RSS event in Nagpur, the Congress on Thursday said the former President had shown the 'mirror of truth' to the Sangh.

At a press conference called soon after Mukherjee’s address ended, the Congress asked if the RSS and the BJP they would change their "character, orientation and thought process" after accepting the sagacious advice of the former President.

Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said that Mukherjee, in his speech at RSS headquarter in Nagpur, reminded them of India's pluralism, tolerance, secularism and inclusiveness.

Mukherjee particularly highlighted the imperative to free public discourse from all forms of violence, besides putting compassion, harmony and non-violence as the centre stage of public life, Surjewala said.

Over the last week, several Congress leaders, including Sonia Gandhi’s close aide Ahmed Patel and Mukherjee's daughter Sharmistha, had expressed their disdain at the former President for accepting the invite. Patel's tweet saying "this was not expected of Pranab Da!" was construed as a direct message from the Congress high command.

Mukherjee had refused to answer questions, saying he would say his piece at the event, and he did in strong words.

In his address, he warned that any attempt to define India through "religion, hatred, dogmas and intolerance" will dilute our existence and said public discourses must be freed of all forms of violence.

Asserting that India's identity has emerged through a long-drawn process of confluence, assimilation and co-existence, Mukherjee, in a strong-worded speech on 'nation, nationalism and patriotism' in context of Bharat, said India's soul resides in pluralism and tolerance.

Surjewala said Mukherjee reminded the Modi government of following "rajdharma" founded upon diversity, non-violence, multi-culturalism and assimilation of ideas.

He also reminded the Prime Minister that happiness of people is the happiness of the ruler and their welfare is his welfare, indicating thereby the "unchecked exercise of authority and attack on institutions" in the garb of self-professed definition of pseudo-nationalism.

"Let the RSS and the BJP publicly commit today to change its character, orientation, thought process and path and accept the sagacious advice of their guest Pranab Mukherjee. It is time for (RSS chief) Mohan Bhagwat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to answer. We await a reply," Surjewala said.

Surjewala said the former president has shown the mirror of truth of India's pluralism to the RSS and has reminded the RSS that India's beauty lies in its tolerance for difference ideas, religions and languages.

"Is RSS ready to admit its mistakes and ready to adapt India's pluralism, secularism and diversity? Will RSS give up its prejudice towards women and marginalised? Will it give up its inherent character of subjugation and violence?" he asked.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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